The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday that nonfarm payroll employment was essentially unchanged in August, with a net gain of zero jobs and the unemployment rate stuck at 9.1 percent.

The BLS noted that employment in most major industries changed little over the course of the month, although the health care sector continued to add jobs. The Verizon strike contributed to a decrease in information employment of about 45,000 workers.

Government employment continued its downward trend, despite the return of approximately 22,000 workers after a partial government shutdown in Minnesota. State governments added only 5,000 jobs, but employment in local government continued to decline. Since employment peaked in September 2008, the local government sector has lost 550,000 jobs.

Employment in financial activities changed little over the course of the month.

The number of unemployed persons, at 14.0 million, was essentially unchanged in August, according to the BLS, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent. That rate has shown little change since April.

Employment figures for June and July were also revised downward by 57,000 jobs.

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